Over the last few years there have been a number of different dog health supplements that have hit the market.
These supplements provide all the essential vitamins and minerals that your dog needs to survive and thrive.
As a result, health supplements for dogs have the potential to improve health and function, while also staving off disease and illness.
With this in mind, they can be particularly important for those specific dog breeds that are predisposed to things like joint pain and arthritis, cardiovascular and metabolic disease, and age-related macular degeneration (and the loss of eyesight associated).
The downside is that because these supplements have become increasingly popular, there are now a number of subpar options on the market — which is exactly why I wanted to write this article.
So, without further ado, everything you need to know to find a good dog supplement.
This may sound like a moot point, but it is arguably the most important.
When it comes to selecting a supplement for your dog, you want to make sure that it works — and the best way to do it?
Hear other peoples experiences.
If you find a supplement that you think ticks all of the boxes, make sure you do a final check of the reviews to ensure that other dog owners have found them to be effective. If they have, then you are good to go.
And if not?
Well, it might be better to look elsewhere.
Specific to your breed: The German Shepherd example
Breed specific supplements are exactly what they sound like — supplements tailored to improve the health and function of a specific dog breed.
While you could undoubtedly get your hands on a general dog supplement at a relatively low cost, you run the risk of it not providing what your specific dog needs, ultimately rendering it a waste of money.
See, certain dogs are more susceptible to certain issues than others.
For example, it is well known that German Shepherds are predisposed to a variety of issues, including Hip Dysplasia, Haemophilia, Elbow Dysplasia, and digestive problems. They are also prone to disc degeneration, joint issues, arthritis, and vision problems.
As a result, their supplement needs are going to be vastly different to that of another breed of dog.
With this in mind, many experts would argue that breed-specific supplements are much more effective at improving the health of your dog because they meet their dietary needs in a much more direct manner.
It is for this reason that breed specific supplements, like these German Shepherd supplements, have hit the market in recent years — because they are much more effective.
While they can be a little more expensive than their “general” counterparts, you ultimately get what you pay for.
Lastly, you want to make sure that the ingredients within those supplements make sense.
Although the importance of these ingredients are going to be a little different depending on what issues your dog is more likely to have, these are a great starting point.
Firstly we have glucosamine and chondroitin.
These two compounds improve joint health, prevent the development of arthritis, and reduce sensations of joint pain. This makes them two must-have ingredients if your dog is predisposed to joint issues.
Secondly, we have Omega-3 fatty acids and Turmeric.
Now I know what you are thinking, fish oil and turmeric for dogs? But hear me out for a second…
Both of these compounds reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can further improve upon symptoms of arthritis, while simultaneously improving cardiovascular and metabolic health.
If your dog is at a high risk of both joint degradation and cardiovascular disease, then this is key.
Thirdly, we have Lutein.
Lutein is a plant based compound that has been shown to have some very positive effects on eye health — particularly with respect to preventing age-related macular disease and vision impairment.
If your dog is prone to loss of eyesight, this is a must.
And last (but certainly not least), we have L-Theanine.
This amino acid has been shown to improve feelings of calmness and prevent anxiety. This can improve behaviour, reduce accidents, and even improve cognitive function — making it very important for excitable dog breeds.
The key here is finding those ingredients that meet the needs of your dog, and going from there.
Doggy supplements offer a fantastic way to improve the health of your puppy by ensuring they have everything their body needs to function at the peak of its ability.
However, it is important to note that some supplements are much better than others.
With this in mind, if you are interested in finding a great supplement for your dog, use the tips in this article to find one that suits their needs perfectly — this is the key to maximizing their effectiveness.